- BTC was little changed while large-cap altcoins gained 5%-10% in a broadening crypto rally.
- A decline in bitcoin's market cap dominance is a sign of investors' riskier market stance, one analyst said.
- ByteTree analysts hinted at early signs of a potential altcoin season, adding weight to altcoins in their portfolio at the expense of BTC.
Alternative cryptocurrencies – altcoins – posted gains of 5%-10% on Monday while bitcoin (BTC) treaded water near $35,000 as investors ventured into riskier tokens.
Bitcoin, meanwhile, on Monday has been trading in a tight range on either side of $35,000. Ether (ETH) is also little changed.
The CoinDesk Market Index (CMI), a broad basket of cryptocurrencies, advanced 0.6%.
Bitcoin dominance drop brings call for altcoin season
Altcoin outperformance – though it's only been in place for a handful of days – could be a sign that traders will continue to rotate profits from BTC's roughly 30% October rally into lower-cap digital assets.
Bitcoin’s market cap dominance – which measures the largest crypto asset's market share of the total cryptocurrency market capitalization – has dipped to 52.5% Monday from around 54.3% in late October, which at that point was a 30-month high, TradingView data shows.
"The decline in dominance after five consecutive weeks of increase marks the first signs of heightened investor interest in altcoins, suggesting a riskier market stance," Matteo Greco, research analyst at Fineqia International, said in an email.
Investment advisory firm ByteTree hinted at the early innings of an "alt season" – an extended period of the broader altcoin market outperforming BTC's price – as the crypto rally's market breadth improved and a likely end of the Federal Reserve's rate hiking cycle offered a more supportive environment for risky assets.
"Today, we make the most significant investment into altcoins we have made for some time," ByteTree analysts wrote. "Bitcoin has rallied, and the space is catching up."
While BTC's rally spread to altcoins, it's still not broad enough for a full-fledged altcoin season yet, Blockchaincenter data suggests.
Some 57% of the top 50 digital assets have outperformed BTC over the past 30 days and 33% did over the past 90 days, lower than the 75% threshold to qualify as altcoin season.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.